Once the most suitable potato has been chosen for on-farm experiments in terms of the best fit for the farmland, the participating growers then turn their attention towards finding the optimal nutrient supplements and soil fertility, as well as the optimal combination of the two for larger crop yields. For this reason, ÖMKi has now directed its potato experiments in this direction since the beginning of 2016. Soil microbe vaccines that are a good fit for the soil’s condition and the local ecology can improve the uptake of nutrients from the soil and manure, contributing indirectly to higher yields and to improving crop resistance. The effects of two unique blends of developmental microbial vaccine are therefore being tested on four organic farms during the 2016 season.
The purpose of the study is to establish whether the vaccine blends have an observable effect on:
- increased potato growth, yield and quality;
- the soil’s fundamental physical and chemical properties;
- the development of the number of culturable bacteria among the soil’s native microorganisms.
The experiment is testing the effects of two types of vaccine blends, which are based on three strains of bacteria and fungus. The first blend was based on the results of Dr. Borbála Biró’s Biofector project (www.biofector.info). The second was developed by Dr. Éva Abod (Tamás), our post-doctoral scholar (Sapientia University, Csíkszereda Faculty, Bioengineering Department).
The potato type chosen for the experiment is the nationally cultivated Demon, which in the last few years has showed promising results in trials looking at comparing different types for quality and quantity, and the producers are happy to grow them.
The growers participating in the experiment include:
- Háromkaptár Biokert, Tahitótfalu
- SZIE GAK Ltd., Babatvölgyi Biokert, Gödöllő
- Imre Erdődi, Hajdúhadház
- Kálmán Imre Kiss, Kiskunfélegyháza
At the Tahitótfalu and Gödöllő locations, the experiment is being carried out four times on small plots, while one trial is being conducted at the on-farm locations in Hajdúhadház and Kiskunfélegyháza.
During the growing season, various measurements are carried out on the crops: we measure the speed of plant growth, chlorophyll activation, and, at the time of harvest, crop quantity, fraction, quality, and starch content. It is also important to take multiple soil samples, with which we can track the changes in the soil’s nutrient content and microbe group bacteria counts. Three meteorological stations have also been installed.